This golden nugget informs our quest to live set apart for God: “treat with respect the sacred offerings.” Treat with respect what is offered to God. In order live in a holiness reflecting God’s holiness, we must respect and revere the offering Jesus made for us.
1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell Aaron and his sons to treat with respect the sacred offerings the Israelites consecrate to me, so they will not profane my holy name. I am the Lord.
3 “Say to them: ‘For the generations to come, if any of your descendants is ceremonially unclean and yet comes near the sacred offerings that the Israelites consecrate to the Lord, that person must be cut off from my presence. I am the Lord.
8 Son though [Jesus] was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him
God’s instructions relating to the holiness of the sacrificial system in Leviticus is exhaustive. The detail of how undefiled a priest must be and what things would defile him is long. Not only were the priests to come clean themselves, it was a matter of respect for the offerings made and was a reflection of the priest’s respect for God himself.
These instructions – several chapters of them – are not applicable in our lives today. We are not under the Law of Moses. Yet that doesn’t mean that we can’t learn from all scriptures. So what do we learn from the lists upon lists of requirements relating to cleanliness before God and his emphatic assertion that God’s people are to be holy as he is holy?
Today we see an over-arching statement which is helpful in our quest: “treat with respect the sacred offerings.” Treat with respect what is offered to God. In the most ultimate sense, we are talking about Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Treat Jesus’ sacrifice with respect. We don’t have priests making offerings for us; we only have Jesus who made one sacrifice for us for all time. He is the source of eternal salvation.
How respectful – how reverent – are we toward Jesus and his sacrifice? I was dwelling on this in the morning, and I prayed to our Father that in light of Jesus’ sacrifice, I come to God, I can pray to God and be heard, I have life and breath, and I have involvement in the ministry of God in the world. I have standing before God only in Jesus’ name because of his sacrifice for me. All of this points back to Jesus, and so I ought to consider carefully how I respect and revere what Jesus did for me.
The Holy Spirit is my Mosaic Law, impressing upon my heart how to live set apart for God. God’s voice in the New Testament teachings of grace (instead of law) provide counsel for me in all matters. Yet if I fail to respect and revere the offering Jesus made for me to Father God, I will not stand a chance of living holy in reflection of God’s holiness.
Only through Jesus.